SHORT VS LONG TERM
There is no denying that short-term attention and problem solving is required in any business. No matter how good a business is managed, problems still arise, which need to be solved right away. On top of that clients need to be served on a daily basis and there is continuous communication going on.
However, it seems that to an ever increasing extend the short-term is replacing the long-term thinking and planning. Thereby the short-term becomes like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On several occasions I have observed and experienced that problems only get solved for that immediate term, a quick fix if you will. Thereby ensuring that the same problem crops up again in a later stage. Applying long-term thinking to structurally prevent the problem from occurring in the first place is rarely done. The root cause never gets addressed and the problem will arise again.
The same reasoning can be applied to getting clients. Most business owners focus on getting next week’s clients. Thereby ensuring that the week after there will not be any clients waiting to be served and hence you again need to focus on getting next week’s clients, thereby perpetuating the problem.
The only way to break free of this cycle is by reserving time in advance to work on the long-term and treating this time as urgent and important as the day-to-day hassle. Block it in your agenda and treat the time as if you have a meeting with an important client. Nothing gets in between!
I recommend you schedule these long-term moments first thing in the morning, even before you open your mailbox. That way you are not distracted, and most clients don’t start calling you first thing in the morning either.
Something I heard recently also applies very well to this challenge.
“The habit is more important than the amount.”
It is more important to create the habit of thinking about and working on the long-term than the number of hours that you do it. Start with just 15 min every morning, if you don’t have any more time to spare.
Once you start this process you will find that you will have more and more time to work on the long-term, as you have prevented many of the short-term issues. This reduces your stress level and gives you peace of mind. Who wouldn’t want that?
See you around.